Words Wednesday is a column where I share whatever quote I’m most in love with this week in the hopes that it will make both of us better writers. Whether it be from a blog, a movie, or a song, these words rocked me emotionally and I want them to inspire you too.

my reading this week has been lacking, and more than that, my highlighting quotes from books i’ve read has been nonexistent. luckily for all of you avid fans of this mildly unpopular column that I insist on writing every week, I was listening to music during halftime of the NCAA women’s final four last weekend and came across this gem.

“and where did you put all those letters // that you wrote to yourself // but could not address”

Ani Difranco, marrow

I really like the idea of writing letters to yourself that you cannot address. You obviously do not have to send a letter to yourself, because it has already reached its owner. Yet there’s still something interesting in the idea that you are able to write a letter out but still not actually send it. You know what you want to say, but you are unable to act on it / read back what you have written.

As someone who is painfully self aware of all of my failures, personality flaws, and things that I should be doing better, and yet unable to capitalize on any of that knowledge to improve myself in any way, this really resonated with me. I have so many letters, and yet none of them are ever sent.

The idea of being unable to address the letter implies a sort of active denial. It isn’t that these letters are lost in the mail, it’s that the person writing them did not finish sending it. This is not necessarily relatable for me, but I think that subtle difference is interesting and distinctly personifies the person Ani DiFranco is singing about in this song.

Part of what I love about this song is the way that DiFranco makes use of simple phrases in order to paint a vivid picture of the person she’s singing about. It’s so important in “story” music (think: taylor swift) that the listeners can relate to the person in the song. If they cannot, then the story itself isn’t relatable and nobody will want to listen to the song. The sentence that I chose for this WW is repeated often throughout Marrow, and it is one of the defining traits of the person DiFranco is singing about.

What are some of your favorite personifying song lyrics? Let me know in the comments!